February 4, 2021

Dear Friends and Family –

A few years ago Evelyn did a project for school where she made a calendar. Each day of the calendar was a different “national” day. National donut day (June 4), national chocolate day (November 11), my personal favorite – national wine day (May 25). I’m writing this on February 4, World Cancer Day. Not even national cancer day – WORLD cancer day. Who knew this existed? Not me. Now you do. Take this opportunity to enlighten others about cancer, donate to cancer research (if you have the means), or reach out to someone you know impacted by cancer. (Sadly the list for that last one is probably substantial).

Today I had my monthly treatment and medical visits. These are every 28 days (Thursday afternoons) and fortunately are relatively short and usually pain free. I typically wait to write until I get all my blood work back, which takes up to 72 hours. It seemed fitting to write today though.

I’m still taking the same medication and on the same treatment plan as when I was diagnosed in July 2019. Earlier this week I started cycle 21 of my medication. (We count the time I’m on this medication by the 28-day cycle of the meds.) I’m still taking Ibrance (you’ve probably seen commercials for it on television) and Anastrozole. Those are oral meds and I take them daily. Today I received a shot of Lupron and an infusion of Zometa. I have very few side effects from the medication. My treatment today was pretty uneventful, which is always good.

Lately I’ve been feeling fine. Some days I feel great! That’s the thing about Stage 4 cancer that is weird. I don’t physically feel bad. I’m not incapacitated. I worked this morning. I styled my hair today – I still have hair. I thought about how I didn’t want to exercise and did it anyway. Probably pretty similar to your day in many ways.

I’ll stay on this medication until it no longer keeps the cancer at bay. When will that happen? No one knows. Will I know when it is happening – will I feel it? Might feel exactly like I do right now, I might have some terrible pain, no one can say. How will we know if the medication has stopped working? When my scans show new cancer.

Speaking of which, I’m up again for scans – will have them just before my March appointment. I get them every 3 months. It feels a little bit like the movie Groundhog Day. A lot of repetition. I’m ok with that. In fact, I am grateful for it. It means nothing has changed and that’s the best we can hope for.

I hope those of you on the front lines of health care or enjoying your later years have received a vaccine or will get one soon. Until we all are vaccinated, Mask Up, social distance and stay safe.

Be well.

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